Interview with MICHELLE SPERRY – Connecticut Theater Dance
by Sharon Arena
When I walked into Connecticut Theater Dance in Westport, I was greeted by fellow “bun-head” Founder and Director, Michelle Sperry. CTD offers a unique look at the world of dance – from ballet, jazz, hip-hop and more – I was even motivated to get out my leotard.
During my tour of the studio, Michelle brought me into a room FULL of goodies – as I’d like to describe – tutus, scrunches, tiaras and all things sparkly. “This is our boutique,” said Michelle. “The girls love coming in here – it’s like a huge walk-in closet.” Another part of the studio had a kitchen. The dancers could buy healthy snacks and shakes, rather than settle for junk food. Each room we walked through was big, bright and beautiful. Floor-length mirrors covered each wall, revealing that I really should take a Monday morning Yoga class at Ms. Sperry’s studio.
Michelle is a busy woman – that’s the best way I can describe it. With her past experiences in law, education, performer and so much more, she enjoys every aspect of what she does and what she’s created. Her office is covered with photographs of dancers and ballerinas, looking like they are professional performers.
Connecticut Theater Dance started not too ago, with a different name. They offered dance classes to younger children and also taught manner lessons – Emily Post style. The company also had onsite parties and were constantly receiving excellent reviews. Since their dance program has got more popular, Michelle brought in more classes, to develop proper ballet techniques and also yoga.
Michelle has created dozens of workshops and hands-on activities, with the goal of inspiring children and young adults to become leaders. “Behind every dancer who believes in themselves is a dance teacher who believed in them first,” said Michelle.
When Connecticut Dance Theater was finally born, Michelle brought on a wonderful staff of professional dancers, to train in modern, lyrical, hip-hop, tap, jazz, contemporary and more. Michelle has choreographed hundreds of performances and productions. With her next big spectacular being the “Nutcracker Festival” – December 15th and 16th in downtown Westport.
It’s so inspiring to see young dancers grow with the program to become passionate about dance and believe in themselves. Her classes help develop discipline, confidence, and focus- skills that they will be able to use for a lifetime. Besides seeing the cute youngsters in ballet slippers and tutu’s, CTD has a variety of group classes for adults. Bodyshape fitness, gentle yoga and also some dance-inspired classes for the performer in you.
One of the most inspiring parts of CTD is that they give back. They believe that every child should have a chance to learn, grown and dance. That’s why Michelle created the “Encore Youth Company” – a non-profit 501c3 organization dedicated to improving the lives of children. The company organizes fundraisers, community events, performances and silent auctions to raise funds to provide scholarships to children. By helping those who may not be able to afford to dance, the EYC is really raising the “Barre.”
To learn more about Michelle Sperry and her wonderful dance company, visit their website at https://www.enrolldance.com/home.html. Be sure to save the date for their Nutcracker Festival this year!
– A Golden Featured Business at Gold Coast Connect .com
Interview by Sharon Arena, of Salty Red Dog Marketing